Matta and OSU Athletics Director Gene Smith announced Monday during a press conference at the Schottenstein Center that Matta's time at OSU has concluded after 13 seasons at the helm.
The past two years, though, (or the past four, depending which insane Ohio State fan you're talking to) have been rough for the Buckeye faithful.
NCAAFormer Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta talks to his assistants during a 2016 game.
He has been troubled by back pain following surgery complications and walks with a limp. He mentioned "trying to get healthy" as a reason for leaving. In the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State lost to Rutgers, the lowest-seeded team.
In the aftermath of the news, former Ohio State basketball players paid tribute to Matta with posts on Twitter. Had Smith made the decision to move on from Matta then, he might've been the one to hire Archie Miller. Holtmann's Bulldogs teams have won at least one NCAA tournament game in each of his three seasons, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen this past season.
"We've dealt with some major negativity in terms of recruitment, my future, all of those things", Matta said.
Smith said a national search is underway. Speculation swirled, as it likely meant the end of the Thad Matta era while at Ohio State. It's not the name Ohio State fans want to here, but in mid-June Crean could be their best option. "I think it's the right thing for our program at the right time". In March, he dismissed a report from Yahoo's Pat Forde that health issues were affecting his ability to coach, telling reporters "I'm fine". This comes as a surprise to most.
"I've always told people this, the easiest recruiting I ever had here was two guys named Greg Oden and Mike Conley because they didn't want to be recruited". Matta was part of a solid circle of Big Ten coaches what is now one member smaller, and the conference will struggle for a bit as a result of it.
"I'll be honest with you", Matta said before closing.